Top IT Certifications for 2019

Certified Information Security Manager

Posted by: Kaplan IT Training
Published: February 25, 2019

In the ever-changing landscape of IT, where new technologies and trends emerge as others deprecate and retire, it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest and greatest certifications available. It seems like just yesterday that Mobility+ was a popular newcomer to the IoT space. Then just like that, CompTIA announced its retirement! That’s why Kaplan IT Training’s team of experts assembled this list of the most popular certifications for 2019.

10. CompTIA CySA+

When CompTIA first announced this new certification in 2017, no one knew if it would resonate in the crowded security certification market. CySA+ certification was slow to grow in numbers until last year, but it is growing steadily now, and we have no reason to expect its popularity not to continue this year. Although the security certification space has grown increasingly competitive over the last few years, this certification has earned respect in the industry for providing a level just above the Security+ and right below the CASP.

9. Microsoft MCSA SQL Development (70-76x)

This one falls under the category of an oldie, but a goodie. SQL Server developers are still needed, and the staying power of Microsoft MCSA SQL Development (70-76x) is a strong testament to that. Its popularity will only grow in 2019, especially around the realm of business intelligence and high-end data analysis. But it may be reaching a plateau as more companies rely on Microsoft-maintained storage solutions over traditional local server installations. Whether on-premise or in the cloud, this certification is still the gold standard of many database developers in the workforce.

8. Microsoft MCSA Windows Server (70-74x)

This certification is also showing some age, but Windows system admins are still needed even in the age of Azure. So it no surprise that this certification continues to be popular. We expect continued popularity in 2019, but we’re also watching the trend of companies moving toward machine learning to maintain their virtualized networking solutions. That could lead to a drop in popularity for the MCSA Server certification, because less expertise will be required in deploying and configuring.

7. Microsoft MCSA Office 365 (70-34x)

With cloud-based office productivity applications growing in popularity, the need for familiarity with custom, enterprise Office 365 solutions will only expand. The move to performance-based certifications in 2019 is likely to spike that trend up early on. Look out for the new MS-XXX certifications rolling out soon!

6. Microsoft MCSA Azure (AZ-xxx)

The cloud race has now led to Azure becoming the top growing cloud service. As more businesses move their applications and IT infrastructure into the cloud, the demand for a certified workforce is likely to eclipse the standard DevOps for on-premise installations. Although the previous certifications had low demand, the move to performance-based should increase popularity, not unlike the case for Windows 10 certification. Like the Office 365 certification exam, Microsoft moved to performance-based, so now those old 70-53x exams are being swapped out with their performance-based replacements.

5. Microsoft Windows 10 (70-69x)

Speaking of Windows 10, since its initial release and now the rolling update structure, Windows 10 is a serious OS player that will continue to have staying power. As an entry-level certification for admins and power users, it's not as popular as Windows 7 certification, but we predict the new performance-based format will be a welcome change in the industry and should boost its popularity among candidates and employers alike. These certification exams will be going by the MD prefix, so watch out for them!

4. CompTIA A+ (220-90x)

With a new exam announced for 2019 (220-100x), this entry-level certification is the older sister of the Security+ and is sure to be in high demand. Whether you’re a full-fledged hardware technician, or you’re interested in basic-level tech support for computers, this may not be the last exam you’re going to take but it will likely be the first. This ranks just below our Security+ products in popularity.

3. EC-Council CEH (v10)

Certified Ethical Hacker is still the gold standard for penetration testing in the security industry. Since beginning our relationship with EC-Council in late 2015, products associated with this certification have grown by almost 30% year over year. Although less heady than CEH, the Certified Network Defender (CND) is quickly becoming a lower rung towards the CEH pinnacle and probably deserves an unofficial mention as well.

2. (ISC)2 CISSP (CAT, April 2018)

The CISSP continues to set the bar for certifications in the security industry. Despite interest in other specializations like CCSP and CSSLP, this single exam is still the most popular. Our CISSP products have been among our most popular for over three years, and we see nothing in the cards that will change that for 2019.

1. CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501)

As the IT skills gap, especially within the security space, continues to exist, more individuals will be grativating to the field with little or no knowledge. Vendor-neutral certifications targeted at the entry-level, specifically well-known ones like A+ and Security+, will continue their popularity. In 2018, this was easily the top-selling certification we offered. In 2019, we see no sign that this will abate. Although few may be interested in maintaining the credential after awhile, Security+ is a key stepping stone for career changers.

Honorable Mentions

CCNA CyberOps

This is a new endeavor for Cisco now that the company has pivoted into the security space. This is one to watch out for because it establishes a baseline for networking gurus to transition into the security space.


This agile project management certification is one of PMI's fasted growing, but it’s still not as popular as other project management certs. In 2019, we expect some growth in popularity as more and more businesses adopt Agile methodologies in their projects.


Although it is very much like the CISSP with a broader focus on general information security, this is another credential that CISSP cert holders can attain to stand above the rest of the security crowd. If for no other reason than that, this should be a secondary tier among those looking to certify in the security industry.



Train Smarter

Keep on top of industry news with Kaplan IT Training. You'll also be the first to get our exclusive product promotions and discounts.